What Type Of Volcano Is In Iceland?

Iceland is known for its unique geological features, including its numerous volcanoes. The country is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a divergent tectonic plate boundary that creates ideal conditions for volcanic activity. There are several types of volcanoes found in Iceland, each with its own distinct characteristics.

Shield Volcanoes

One of the most common types of volcanoes in Iceland is the shield volcano. These volcanoes have gentle sloping sides and are formed by the eruption of low-viscosity lava. The lava flows easily and can travel long distances, creating broad, flat volcanic cones. Some well-known shield volcanoes in Iceland include Hekla and Snæfellsjökull.


Stratovolcanoes, also known as composite volcanoes, are another type of volcano found in Iceland. These volcanoes are characterized by their steep sides and explosive eruptions. They are built up of alternating layers of lava, ash, and volcanic rocks. One of the most famous stratovolcanoes in Iceland is Eyjafjallajökull, which erupted in 2010 and disrupted air travel across Europe.


Calderas are large, circular depressions formed by the collapse of a volcano after a massive eruption. Iceland is home to several calderas, including the Askja Caldera in the central highlands. Calderas can be filled with water, forming crater lakes, or can be left dry and barren.

Subglacial Volcanoes

Some of the most unique volcanoes in Iceland are subglacial volcanoes, which are located beneath glaciers. When these volcanoes erupt, they can create explosive interactions between lava and ice, leading to massive ash clouds and glacial floods. The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull was a subglacial eruption that caused significant disruption to air travel.

In conclusion

Iceland is a land of fire and ice, with a diverse range of volcanoes that shape its landscape. From shield volcanoes to stratovolcanoes, calderas, and subglacial volcanoes, Iceland’s volcanic activity is a constant reminder of the powerful forces at work beneath the Earth’s surface.

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